TV-Inspired Law Courses, Legal Thriller, and Best Law School Rankings

Everyone’s talking about HBO’s success Succession, but how many people can say they’ve taken a law course on that? A handful of lucky students at the University of Virginia Law School, that’s who.

The course was a short, one-credit course offered before the start of the spring semester, focusing on scenarios featured in the corporate law show. Students were expected to watch the show and learn about topics featured in the series such as mergers, takeovers, and corporate statutes.

The driving force of Succession is the struggle of four siblings as they try to take over the business of their ailing father’s media empire. His serious health issues have not been disclosed to shareholders, but should they be?

The idea for the course came from a lunch that Virginia professor Cathy Hwang had with Peter Lyon, a corporate and mergers and acquisitions lawyer who also teaches at the school. Lyon told him he was a consultant on the show as a legal consultant, and the rest is history.

“It was like that light bulb moment where we said, ‘We should teach a short course on’Succession!” Hwang said. “We want students to see how these issues play out in real life.”

She also said that normally her students watch a real real-time corporate merger, but the show was more fun.

Succession is unusual as a show about corporate law, because it’s actually quite specific,” she said.


Do you love legal thrillers but hate that they never feature tax lawyers? Quinnipiac School of Law professor Jeff Cooper has you covered. Cooper’s debut novel “After the Fact” was released in November 2021 and tells the story of Jack Collins, who joins a famous law firm in New York, leaving behind a small firm in Connecticut. He thinks he’s hit the big time, but all is not as it seems. From the official description:

“Jack thinks he’s on his way to glory, but he’s really a victim of deception, a pawn in a game he doesn’t even know he’s playing. His new boss harbors deep secrets, his seductive colleague is not the person he thinks he is and his new law firm is at the center of a blackmail plot involving the widow [of a senator].”

Cooper is also Associate Dean for Research at Quinnipiac, and used his experience at trusted law firms and banks to bring some realism to the novel’s setting. Although this is his first novel, Cooper has also written and published short fiction films and over 50 academic works.

“On some level, this book is just fun, isn’t it?” said Cooper. “A novel. But it actually connects to my teaching in that it focuses on a group of lawyers who find themselves drawn into a morally complicated situation and explores how they respond.


Princeton Review’s Best Law School Rankings for 2022 are out. University of Virginia School of Law won first place for Best Classroom Experience and Quality of Life. In fact, the University of Virginia School of Law ranks first on three lists and top five on three others. I guess that’s why it’s number 5 on the hardest to get into list!

Who has the most liberal students? Northeastern University School of Law. Most conservative students go to Ave Maria Law School and New York University Law School ranks first for the best career prospects. If you’re really into the details, The Princeton Review has full breakdowns for all 168 schools on the list.

Each year, The Princeton Review surveys thousands of law students and administrators to compile its list of the best law schools in the country.

Nancy I. Romero